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Healthy plans mean premium cuts, cost-of-living increases

A break is coming soon for CBC employees participating in several of the employee-paid life insurance plans, including the optional life insurance, dependent insurance and reducing term plans. At its recent meeting, the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits voted to cut the cost of the employee-paid premiums by 10 per cent. The reduction should show up on the last pay cheque in October. This marks the first change in rates since Great West Life took over the plans in 2002. The plans have built up a surplus, so it makes sense to give members a rate cut while at the same time ensuring we have a reserve to meet claims.

We’ve also seen an improvement on the long-term disability front. The financial health of the plan has gradually improved, and CCSB is finally in a position to provide a cost-of-living adjustment for people who’ve become disabled since 2002. Effective October, people on LTD will see an increase of two per cent for each year they’ve been on the plan. For example, an employee who went on LTD in 2002 will see an increase of slightly more than 10 per cent. A member who began receiving LTD in 2005 will get four per cent more. The increase isn’t retroactive, but we’re looking into whether that would be feasible. Before 2002, we had an automatic cost of living adjustment of up to two per cent per year. That benefit was frozen in 2002 because the LTD plan had gone into deficit.

We’re still waiting for a formal response from the Corporation on our direction for distributing the latest pension plan surplus to plan members. The CCSB held a special meeting in July to come up with its proposal. The Corporation says it’s studying the motion, but there were delays over the summer in coming up with a response. The CBC now says it will respond within a couple of weeks. In case you forgot, here’s what the CCSB directed the CBC to do with almost $130 million in surplus:

? $12 million to the CBC to recognize the additional funding for the 2005 solvency deficit payments;
? $74.24 million to be distributed to working members of the plan and pensioners in a manner consistent with individual contribution levels;
? $44.66 million to be retained in the pension fund.

All the unions at the CBC, as well as the pensioners’ association, will keep pressing the case for a fair distribution of the pension surplus.

At this meeting, the CCSB also extended the terms of English pension board trustee Jon Soper for one year and French trustee Claude Godin for two years.

Your CCSB representatives at the September meeting:
Bruce Arculus
Marc-Philippe Laurin
Ralph Legare
Barbara Saxberg
Jon Soper
Gabi Derocher
Dan Oldfield

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